I couldn't tell you when it happened but at some point I noticed, generally within society, the need for everything to be "perfect". This then ramped up sometime after social media channels started and the "invisible" competition to be as good as the next person, or better intensified to ridiculous levels. I get it, I really do but we don't have to subscribe to it ... it's okay to be real, not perfect. Life is not perfect, so lets not set ourselves impossible goals.
You don't look at the fallen multi shades of autumnal leaves in the park on a sunny day and think it's not perfect. You may well think it looks beautiful or just take a moment to notice the seasons changing and the time of year - "quickly take stock", you may think it's messy and are glad it's not in your garden because you couldn't cope with it or you may not notice them at all. The sunsets are not perfect, the snowfall, animals markings, the way the ocean meets the shore or the mountains meet the valleys. We see the beauty in nature so easily & freely.
I wonder why we then don't see it so easily when it comes to our creativity? Why do we shame not show something on social media that isn't perfect? I see this so much and it bothers me - we should be happy, joyous and celebrating the fact we have managed to create something unique. I was shocked to realise I do this myself because I don't feel my sewing is up to a high standard to promote fabrics etc for the business. Yet in my personal life I don't do that, I will happily be a little dishevelled or wrinkly, go barefaced and even have a messy home. When I sew things for the home I show my kid the wonky lines (I swear I've never sewn a straight line), which is celebrated with the words "that’s how I know you made it Mum".
I recently read an article by Angie @gnomeangel ... https://www.instagram.com/gnomeangel/ about it being ok not to be perfect and found myself "hooraying" and cheering because her words really resonated with me. You can read the article in issue 53 of Love Patchwork & Quilting. Trying to be perfect stops projects getting finished, it stops us starting more, it takes the enjoyment out of creating, the list goes on and on. Angie gives permission in the article to make mistakes, which is liberating.
Whilst joining in the EPP Party this summer with @misterdomestic (Mathew Boudreaux) and Pat Bravo, I was really pleased to hear Mathew say he doesn't sew 100% perfect, 95% perfect he is happy with. Now Mathew is not only an absolute laugh a minute with an energy and passion you rarely find but he is big in the sewing world, so it's a big deal when Mathew says that, as it is when Angie (@gnomeangel) says it.
So lets just STOP this 100%, lets join Angie & Mathew and show the reality of our work, the mistakes, the not perfect, the in the bin projects, the seam ripped threads, the exasperated expression and the TADAAA, finished and I am happy with it projects.
So here's my block 13 for EPP Party - this is MY
work and despite not getting the definition I
wanted I'm happy with it! I am now sewing up the whole quilt top and found that the blocks don't all fit cleanly so am manipulating bits here and there and adding a border all around the centre block ... because it's 1/4" too small!
Go and be dishevelled, sew wonky lines, cut a slightly wonky angle, use the not a perfect match thread & be okay with it, be happy with your unique work. Just be okay with it, please and I promise to show more of my not perfect, wonky, creations.